Whitmarsh “relaxed” despite coming under fire

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Martin Whitmarsh has stated that he is “relaxed” despite coming under fire following McLaren’s poor start to the 2013 Formula One season.

McLaren have scored just four points so far this season as drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez struggle to get to grips with the new car, but Whitmarsh does not feel under any pressure as team principal.

“I’m relaxed about it,” said Whitmarsh in an interview. “I’m passionate about what I do and I don’t like it when it doesn’t go right but we’ve all got a job to do and I don’t ever shy away from facing up to stuff.”

Whitmarsh refused to blame McLaren’s poor start on an individual, instead saying that the team succeed and fail together.

“It’s always very easy; people were trying to get me to name names of who might be responsible and people who might not even be here to defend themselves, but that’s not my style. That’s not how I operate and I hope and believe ultimately in our drivers, engineers; we’ve got a lot of bright, motivated people here.

“If you try and make decisions or impose them saying ‘I’m in charge, this is how it’s going to be’, you’ll fail.”

Many critics have called for Whitmarsh to be replaced by former McLaren chief Ron Dennis, but the incumbent team principal has confidence in his own ability.

“I hope and believe that I’ve got a reasonable amount of persuasive influence on most of the people in the organisation because they respect – I hope they do, not always I’m sure – generally respect that I play it straight, I tell them what I think.”

McLaren’s poor start is difficult to attribute to any factor besides their car. The development route taken by the team has sacrificed their early season form, but if they can continue the upward trend on display in Malaysia, they could be in a position to win races towards the end of the season.

Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

Photo: IndyCar
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The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.